Brainstorm: The Stanford Laboratory for Behavioral Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Brainstorm is a special initiative of the Chair aimed at accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship in mental health and wellbeing. Our mission is to create practical solutions that improve outcomes in health and opportunity for all. We foster innovation that reflects our core values - effective, measurable, collaborative, sustainable, and affordable. Our vision is build a multi-site community that works together to transform healthcare by turning idealism into impact.

Brainstorm is directed by Dr. Nina Vasan and a team from Stanford and partnering peer institutions. It is guided by a Board that is chaired by Dr. Laura Roberts. Committed to fostering interdisciplinary efforts, Brainstorm engages with students and faculty across the University (the Graduate School of Business, School of Engineering, School of Law, Graduate School of Education, and School of Medicine) and unites academia with innovators in government, businesses, startups, and NGOs.


We are teaching the first university course in the US on mental health innovation, “Leadership and Innovation in Mental Health”. The course was created by Dr. Nina Vasan and Dr. Belinda Bandstra; Dr. Steve Adelsheim and Dr. Alan Louie are serving as senior faculty consultants. We are developing educational offerings for a range of audiences, including executives, high school students, and international students.

Director: Nina Vasan, M.D.
Resident, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Brainstorm is an incubator and accelerator for rapid translation; we nurture ideas and ventures by investing in them with mentorship, education, funding, and collaboration opportunities with our community. We are launching the department’s first Innovation Lab at the Stanford CME Innovations in Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Conference, in coordination with Dr. Alan Louie. We are also partnering with Dr. Steve Adelsheim and Vicki Harrison at Stanford’s Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing to deliver the Stanford Mental Health Innovation Challenge, as well as with Dr. Laura Roberts and Dr. Alan Louie at CNI-X for the CNI-X Innovation Lab.


We are building a think tank for innovation and entrepreneurship. We are developing an ethical business model for faculty and affiliates to consult for entities including businesses, startups, governments, and organizations. We aim to foster meaningful collaboration among stakeholders by positioning clinicians to lead progress in our field and ensure that efforts are based in evidence, ethical treatment, and optimal patient-centered care.

To get involved or for further information, please contact Dr. Nina Vasan at

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